Opine I will

I am a retired elementary school teacher just trying to do the right thing

I will not ally with the Right Wing.

Last night I got into a virtual brawl over some comments I made responding to Diane Ravitch’s  post A Warning to the Anti-Common Core Group in New York. Diane expressed that she was disturbed to learn that the group  called “Stop Common Core in New York State” ( www.stopccssinnys.com orwww.stopcommoncoreinnewyork.com ) and (https://www.facebook.com/groups/607166125977337/) posted a video insulting her good friend Linda Darling-Hammond. She warned the group that if they were really interested in building a nonpartisan coalition, it should avoid insulting people like Linda and stick to the facts.

I took it one step further. I posted this comment 

Some of these anti-common core groups are run by Tea Party types who are conspiracy theory believers. This group and the LI based “parent and teachers against the common core” are dominated by extreme right wing ideology. They are quick to ban those who defend teachers unions.

Well that really set them off.  I encourage you to read the comments. http://dianeravitch.net/2013/08/13/a-warning-to-the-anti-common-core-group-in-new-york/

Let me use this post to make my opine perfectly clear.

There are groups  of all political persuasions that are against the Common Core, high stakes testing and education reform. That said, just because another group may be against something that I am also fighting, they are not considered my ally. You really need to explore the agenda of all groups.

I explained last night, that I am against the Common Core and high stakes testing  due to pedagogical reasons, while groups on the Right were against it for political reasons.  Political arguments are self serving, they reflect a much larger agenda.

In this case these Right Wing groups are pushing a much darker agenda.  They look at Common Core as a grand conspiracy by the left, meant to indoctrinate our children while creating a mega database of  ammunition that will be used against the masses. I can’t be an ally to that rhetoric.

I called out that agenda last night. Posting links that demonstrated that their agenda is so far to the Right that all of us should be wary. These groups are against teachers unions, they are against tenure, they support vouchers, they claim liberal teachers are brainwashing their children, and they claim Common Core is a tool to undermine Christian values just to start. I have been vocal about these groups before, I have shown links to the Heritage Foundation, Freedomworks, the Koch brothers, and other similar groups. Last night I posted proof that their keynote speakers ally themselves with Glenn Beck and the Cato institute.

I encourage you to follow last night’s  conversation, check out the links I posted and make your own decisions.

I will not ally with any group that is looking for my demise as a public school teacher or as a union member. I won’t risk the war, to save our nation’s important asset, our public schools and teachers, to win any battle.

Don’t kid yourself, these Right wing groups that are fighting education reform, with their not so hidden agendas, will ultimately destroy any chance we have to beat back the reformers. They will undermine the foundation of our cause, And once they erode the very ground that public education stands on, all will be lost.

It’s time to call these groups out. Expose their true agendas.

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12 thoughts on “I will not ally with the Right Wing.

  1. Stick to your guns. The truism that “the enemy of my enemy is my ally” does apply but that doesn’t mean you have to coordinate or even cooperate with them, merely to work at uncrossed purposes. Consider Stalin and the US in WWII. The only reason Stalin was our “ally” was because Hitler invaded Russia. Prior to that point, we opposed Stalin and the Bolshevik revolution including the fact that we invaded Russia (in concert with the japanese from the Pacific side), a fact conveniently left out of our history books (but not theirs).

  2. Michael Paul Goldenberg on said:

    You did yeoman service last night, my friend, and it’s much appreciated.

    I absolutely do not want to fight shoulder to shoulder with Tea Party types. I will not pretend to not smell the stink of racism, birtherism, and similar narrow minded baloney that follows these people everywhere they go. That some of them will repeat the same bald-faced lies even when they’ve been caught red-handed (kind of ironic color choice there) is (almost) stunning. But I’ve seen this a lot in the last 25 years. There’s a loose movement afoot within the radical Right that uses the tactic of co-opting the language of the Left and then turning it back on true progressives, accusing them of racism, elitism, sexism, etc. One book that lays this out is Jim Sleeper’s LIBERAL RACISM. It’s not an expose: it’s an argument that progressives are actually the racists. You can probably guess how it goes.

    So now, if you don’t trust these ‘Baggers, you’re not caring about “the children.” No matter that you’ve opposed bad teaching and the corporate takeover of our schools since Day One: YOU are accused of not caring, of being an ALLY of “the status quo,” and so forth. If you have any pro-union sentiments, obviously you don’t care about the children. . . Now, how is any of their shyte different from that of the neo-liberal/neo-con corporatists? Frankly, it isn’t.

    My new litmus test is simple: ask these idiots to imagine it’s 2001 and the Common Core has rolled out, but it came from GWB and Page, his ed secretary. For or against? How about NCLB, which DID come from Bush (and Ted Kennedy, to his everlasting discredit)? For or against? When you push at them hard enough, they will reveal that what pisses them off here isn’t the idea of a Common Core, or high-stakes tests. Rather, it’s a Common Core they didn’t get to write and completely control. Those conservatives who see Common Core as “good enough” to destroy our schools and protect the interests of privilege are still supporting it. Those who wanted it to be even worse, who blanch at the humanistic math Practice Standards (which I like but don’t believe will have any emphasis or impact) – people like Milgram and his empty-headed puppet, Sandy “What, me math?” Stotsky – are bleating against CCSSI, but listening to their reasons makes it clear that they just want something worse.

    Once again, I thank you for taking on those liars from NYS. They are now well-exposed. You know you got it right, because Harlan Underhill put on his foil hat to yell at you. He does get crazier with every comment. 😉

  3. It’s one thing to distrust and oppose the leaders of the Tea Party racist movement and the other quasi-fascist nut jobs.
    On the other hand, it’s often a good idea to be able to reason with ordinary working people of whatever SES or ethnic group that have had no other news channel except Faux News. A slim few of the talking points of the Right make sense, the ones that supposedly attack the elite. Well, it’s simply a different faction of the elite that owns Faux — and the foundations you named as supporters of the Tea Party all seem to fund the same anti-union educational Deformer network that’s been running schools in the US for in some cases over a decade.
    It’s important to see exactly which parts are correct and where do the ideologues (Beck, Palin, and even worse) start going off into the land of evil, and see what talking points could be used when you talk to a co-worker or fellow student or relative or someone you meet on the street, or, perhaps, when going door-to-door in a campaign of some sort.

  4. Novlette on said:

    Your comments reflect your passion.

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  7. Labras Mac Anna on said:

    As a new citizen of America I find it very disturbing to find ” Adults ” on both sides of The American Education Debate so wrapped in Ideological name calling and so devoid of what education is intended to achieve; an atmosphere wherein children and young adults may be exposed to the pedagogical fruits of Humanities collective experiences devoid of The Political rantings of either and all parties.Education across this good earth was and is best served by those who have the best local interests of the youth in their community at heart.

    If you are vested in Education you need to unhitch your political horse and allow true educators to teach and allow our youth to learn rather than be indoctrinated by any ideological bent! Generations of our children are losing out on what can be learned by people who want to stuff their beliefs down their throats.

    If you are a true teacher stop this juvenile name calling and work to return education to those who believe in it’s worth; The Parents and local schools.Get The Politics out of Education!

    • “As a new citizen of America.” Congratulations. But I suggest you think long and hard about why education (and much else) in this country is so politicized. And consider that “no ideology” is a fantasy. There’s always the official ideology that infuses textbooks, teacher practices, school structure, ad nauseam. Thinking that there’s nothing political going on because you don’t think you see politics is like fish not realizing that water is everywhere around them.

  8. Labras Mac Anna on said:

    Michael you did not address my point!

    Forgive me for taking note of how American Education was rated first in the world up to the beginning of The Sixties.There after and onto today there has been a slow and steady decline not just in achievement of our youth but in the knowledge and will required by educators to teach and inform.Haughty words and the belief that people in far off places away from little towns all across America,can make pedagogical decisions about how the children of those little towns ought to be educated confounds all common sense!
    America is populated by 320 million people in fifty States and Tens of Thousands of Town Halls where Americans by their vote decide how they want their Elected Officials to implement their wishes as to how they want to be governed !
    By usurpation and coercion the will of The American People has left them without a voice in their own affairs and enabled corrupt and self interested politicians on both sides of the divide to deprive the American Citinizery of their Rights to Self Determination and a voice in how their children are to be educated! This is a fact that cannot be disputed but must be rectified if America as it was founded is to continue.
    This last point is the crux of the debate in American Education.Is America to continue as The Founding Fathers proscribed protected by The Constitution and The Bill of Rights or must all Americans kneel to the wishes of a minority which is hell bent on imposing their wishes on The Majority no matter what the outcome for all concerned?

    • Of course, I addressed your point. Just not how you wanted. And you are vastly oversimplifying what’s going on right now. But then, I think you likely missed my point. Education has ALWAY been politicized in the United States. People just started complaining about it when they noticed the bent of some educators was to the Left. The Right-Wing slant that dominated US education when I was in school (c. 1955-68) was considered “apolitical” because the story it told was the one most people accepted as natural and absolutely true. That it left out all the ugly parts – the genocide against Native Americans, the real nature of slavery, the exploitation of other peoples of color, the exploitation and subjugation of women, ad nauseam, were just like air: ubiquitous and unnoticed and completely accepted.

      Your tale of the marvels of US education in the ’60s are unsubstantiated and of doubtful authenticity but they’re part of the popular right-wing and corporatist narrative that has dominated the conversation here since Reagan. But that wasn’t the first time Americans were told how stupid and lazy were its children and educators: go back to the early 1800s and you’ll discover that this litany has been sung in America in EVERY generation. Unlike you, I’ve actually made a study of the history of American education and its popular perception and misrepresentation in the popular media. There’s nothing new going on now except that huge $$ are invested in destroying free public education and putting it in the hands of Wall Street. If you think it’s bad now. . .

      Finally, a minor but significant correction: you meant “prescribed,” which means “recommended,” not “proscribed,” which means “forbidden.”

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